One.

Today Civilized becomes a one-year-old. We set out to create a conversation that reflected a community in cannabis culture that existed but didn’t have a voice – motivated, productive folks who choose to consume cannabis but don’t define themselves by it. 

In the past year, we’ve seen more people entering that conversation. We’ve seen it at Civilized and I’ve experienced it personally. I’ve talked to many people who are able to live more authentic lives because this conversation has entered the mainstream. It’s been a wonderful year of meeting new and interesting people.

At the same time as the Civilized community has been growing, North America’s political landscape has been dramatically shifting.

Half of U.S. states now have some form of legalization of cannabis, including legalization of recreational use in Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington. Those four states could be joined by Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada where legalizing recreational cannabis use appears on November ballots.

All five states are important, but California’s Proposition 64 is definitely one to watch. With polls attracting 60 percent support, its passage seems highly likely. This is significant not only because of California’s size but because of its influence on global popular culture. A “yes” vote in California will push the conversation around cannabis even further into the mainstream.

Changes are afoot north of the border as well. After his election last fall, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau brought a pro-cannabis agenda to the country. His decision not to decriminalize as an interim measure en route to legalization has raised questions and he continues to frame legalization in terms of public safety rather than economic opportunity, but it’s hard to overstate the effect Trudeau’s candor on cannabis has had in changing the conversation in Canada and beyond.

It’s been a pretty big year since September 22, 2015, when we flicked the switch on Civilized and logged our first pageview. Twelve months and millions of visitors later, the conversation is just getting started.

We are a mighty little team. I am proud of the work we’ve done and very excited about where we’re going. It’s all thanks to a hard-working group of people who are going above and beyond to publish and grow Civilized every day.

Finally, it’s hard to express how much we appreciate you, the folks consuming our content. It is heartening to know our work is connecting and making a difference. Thank you. We will continue to earn your support.

Derek Riedle is the founder and publisher of Civilized.

Banner image: Kelly Balch Photography